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Summer 2024 | From the editor


Typically, I use this space to promote upcoming events in Owen County, which, for reasons unknown to me, can be one of the more challenging parts of each edition. The following pages cover that quite well, so today, I'm writing a special message to my nephew.

Yes, by the time some of you read this, I will have become a first-time aunt. My nephew, whose name is still undecided, is expected to arrive around mid-to-late July. I hope he'll be interested in his aunt's work someday, whether it's newspaper articles or the magazine you now hold. Maybe he'll find this edition tucked away in a desk drawer or hidden in a closet when he needs a bit of family wisdom. Who knows? Perhaps it might benefit you as well. 


Dear Nephew,

There are more seasons than you think. Spring, summer, fall, and winter are great, but have you tried the little winters of Redbud, Dogwood, Locust, or Blackberry? You'll survive each just fine, but Dogwood Winter, which hits around mid-to-late April, feels the chilliest. Keep a jacket handy no matter what the weatherman says.

Speaking of blackberries, those adorable baby raccoons hiding in the bushes might tempt you, but remember: their mama will "tear you all to pieces" if you try to pet them. Your dad taught me this, and trust me, he's right.

If it snows in March, scoop enough from the ground to fill a Mason jar, seal it tightly, and store it in a cabinet. Should you ever get a minor burn, reach for that March snow and pour it onto the wound for instant relief. Your Uncle Brian taught me this trick, and I promise, there really is magic in March snow.

It's farther to the barn in the winter than it is in the summer. Plan accordingly. 

Take your hat off upon your arrival indoors. Some will say this advice is old-fashioned, but I say it's common decency. 

A lie is a lie, no matter how big or small, and it will find its way back to you in the end.

There are three meals in a day: they are breakfast, dinner, and supper, and singing at the supper table is bad luck. 

Upon entering nearly every home, you will find decorative pillows strewn about the couch. Some people (I'm not naming names, but you'll learn) take such adornments quite seriously and would like them to keep their shape. Remove and set aside before planting yourself.

The Bible tells us gluttony is a sin, but I suspect the good Lord turns a blind eye where biscuits and gravy are concerned. 

Your parents are the best friends you'll ever have. You won't always agree with them, and sometimes you'll think they're being quite cruel, but they only want what's best for you. Heed their warnings always. 

Not everyone will like you no matter how hard you try, and that's OK. In the face of cruelty, smile and remind yourself that whoever is giving you a hard time was likely a very pretty baby. 

Be a good neighbor. Your own neighbor's yard may be overgrown, you may hear them yelling in the middle of the night or revving a motor, but you never know when you may need one another. Building a strong, supportive community starts with simple acts of kindness and understanding. Offer a helping hand, lend an ear, or simply show patience and respect. Small gestures can create lasting bonds, and in times of need, a good neighbor can make all the difference.


Molly Haines Riddle


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